With the No. 24 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected running back Najee Harris out of Alabama. Fans and fantasy owners everywhere can now dream about the second coming of Le’Veon Bell.
Harris comes into the NFL after a stellar four-year stint with the Crimson Tide. He played in 51 games, rushing for 3,843 yards at an average of 6.0 yards per attempt. Harris found the end zone 46 times on the ground, including 26 in the 2020 season. Harris was also able to flash his skills as a pass-catcher, with 80 grabs over the last four seasons for 781 yards and another 11 scores. He finished in fifth place in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2020.
A Scary Fit in Pittsburgh – For Opposing Fantasy Owners But Also for Harris?
It’s not hard to illustrate the collapse of the Pittsburgh rushing game. After averaging between 350 and 435 fantasy points to the position from 2015 to 2019, they slogged their way to only 280 a season ago.
The Steelers couldn’t run the ball (-30 ruFPOE), and they couldn’t throw it to their backs either (-24 reFPOE). Harris is a perfect fit in both categories. Over the last two years he gained more than 700 yards receiving and scored 39 rushing touchdowns. He’s the ultimate 1-2 punch and the prototypical fantasy superstar. The former Alabama star is a dancer in a big body, a style that propelled Bell to fantasy godhood but washed Trent Richardson out of the NFL. What do the advanced stats tell us about the path he will follow?